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Beach House | Saanich | Cordova Bay Road


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261 replies to this topic

#1 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 11:27 AM

http://www.timescolo...5980/story.html

#2 G-Man

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 01:49 PM

That land has got to be worth a mint and they also own a big chunk across the street too.

#3 sebberry

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 02:51 PM

This is the first I have heard of the place.

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#4 G-Man

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 03:10 PM

Really? It has been there for eons. It was nice for its day but hada kind of Blethering Place feel to it.

#5 aastra

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 03:53 PM

Also known as the restaurant on Cordova Bay Road.

#6 aastra

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 03:57 PM

I hope there's commercial space in whatever ultimately happens there. How many legitimate "waterfront" restaurants are there in Victoria, anyway? Not a lot.

#7 G-Man

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 03:58 PM

There is another one just a bit further up the road but it does not have the view.

#8 Bingo

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 04:23 PM

...because Eric McMorran ran the best sprung dance floor around. In the early 60's there was no bar, but you could bring your own booze and keep it on a shelf under the table. Dancing went anti-clockwise around the room, and you had to hang onto your partner. If he saw you jiving he would come around and tap you on the shoulder. It was a class act.

When the CN Railway was still running to Pat Bay you could take the Galloping Goose car to Cordova Bay.

Photo below: Saanich employees' picnic on Cordova Bay beach ca 1917.

Photo ID 1981-026-003a courtesy of Saanich Archives.



Photo below: Regatta on Cordova Bay beach below the McMorran's Auto Motel, ca 1950. Photo ID 1989-008-226 courtesy of Saanich Archives


"I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance" - Socrates


#9 spanky123

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 04:32 PM

The restaurant has been closing for years. Inconsistent, pricey food is not offset by the view.

#10 Guest_Marcat_*

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 05:11 PM

I couldn't agree with you more Spanky. McMorrans has gone downhill quite vastly in the last while. I was there about a year ago, and vowed never to go back after piss poor service and mediocre food.

#11 concorde

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 05:20 PM

I couldn't agree with you more Spanky. McMorrans has gone downhill quite vastly in the last while. I was there about a year ago, and vowed never to go back after piss poor service and mediocre food.


I went there this summer and thought the food and service were fine

#12 victorian fan

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 05:46 PM


Photo below: Regatta on Cordova Bay beach below the McMorran's Auto Motel, ca 1950. Photo ID 1989-008-226 courtesy of Saanich Archives


Great photo. Just think, I might be in it.

#13 Holden West

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 06:02 PM

^Are you one of the yellow or pink characters?

Dancing to big band tunes and imbibing from discreetly hidden bottles while waves lap at the shoreline seems so genteel and wholesome compared to our current habit of flopping on the couch and staring at the TV all evening.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#14 spanky123

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 07:19 PM

I went there this summer and thought the food and service were fine


That is the inconsistent part. I have had good meals there and very poor meals there.

I think what would do well in that area is an upscale pub with decent food.

#15 Sparky

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 07:53 PM

I like the pub idea.

Before the 50's and 60's, Eric's dad used to run the show. In my time Saturday was something to behold, to see the neighborhood gear up for the city dwellers that would drive out for the big band dance. Cones would be placed to reserve parking for dignitaries, windows would have the sea spray washed off, the dance floor would be wiped by hand for the last time, and glasses would be hand polished.

Bingo was spot on about the tables, they had a built in shelf just the right depth for a stubby beer bottle or a mickey. Very similar tables to speak easys like the "Golden Slipper" on Broad street. McMorran made extra money by renting glasses and selling ice and mix.

Eric's brother Bruce owned the grocery store in the shopping centre, Garnet Reviere owned the corner Shell gas station. On Saturday business was brisk and the neighborhood was alive, especially at the cafe counter at McMorran's. That's where the local news was exchanged. If you were lucky, you might get to sit next to Bill Mattick, and you would not want to leave before he did, as you might miss a tale or two.

Wallace McMorran deserves a nod for his efforts to continue in his family's tradition.

I for one will miss their presence.

#16 Kikadee

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 08:49 AM

Thanks for sharing those memories (and photos) Sparky and Bingo!

I've only been to McMorran's once, Mother's Day brunch I think, and like others I left entirely underwhelmed with the food and the service. If not for the view, no one would have eaten there: that's the conclusion I came to.

But when I left the place, there are all the old photos in frames in the entrance, and so I read about its history as a destination spring-floored dance-hall, looked at some of the wonderful pictures of McMorran's in its heyday .... wow, I would have made the effort to get out there and shimmy every Saturday night!

#17 G-Man

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 08:02 PM

That is the inconsistent part. I have had good meals there and very poor meals there.

I think what would do well in that area is an upscale pub with decent food.


A pub was tried in Cordova Bay and was soundly rejected by the neighbourhood. It was 10 years ago but things don't really change out there.

#18 Sparky

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 12:36 AM

I might be wrong with this answer, but I think you are referring to the restaurant located beside the church. (My memory is fading here but I think it is St. David's by the Sea.)

I have it in mind that there was some kind of covenant connected to the church somehow where the primary use of the property would not be to sell alcohol.

Something else happened where the proprietor pissed off the neighbors big time, and subsequent tries to receive neighborhood approval for pub use was unfruitful.

The McMorran property could be viewed by the neighbors in a different light.

#19 G-Man

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 08:00 AM

You are mostly correct. The original church building is now part of the restaurant that is there and they did originally say they would not sell alcohol but they changed that in the early 1990s and then tried for a pub license. Still with the relaxation of liquor law perhaps a pub isn't needed I mean really most people in Cordovabay are not going out unless they eat anyways and they won't stay out past eleven either.

#20 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 07:26 PM

Good article here by Ross Crockford. I bet the place is packed on April 3rd.

The Sands of Time
Posted By: Ross Crockford
03/17/2010 8:00 AM


McMorran’s ends an era at Cordova Bay

I’m quite emotional about this place,” Eric McMorran, 84, tells me over a bowl of clam chowder (the best in Victoria) in the restaurant at McMorran’s Beach House, a business that’s been in his family since 1919—and will close forever this Easter weekend. “I grew up here, and I would like to see it go on. But that’s not up to me.”


[...]

http://mondaymag.com...e-sands-of-time

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